Mark Jackson outlines Leeds United's Papa John's Trophy ambitions as Whites head for Tranmere Rovers opener
Mark Jackson has outlined Leeds United's Papa John's Trophy ambitions as his young Whites head for last season's runners-up Tranmere Rovers.
A Leeds United under-21s outfit will begin a second crack at the EFL Trophy in Tuesday evening's clash against League Two outfit Tranmere at Prenton Park (kick-off 7pm).
The competition which is now known as the Papa John's Trophy sees teams from English football's third and fourth tier taking on the country's best Academy sides with Category One status.
Leeds got no further than the group stage last season, falling to a 7-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley which was followed by a 2-2 draw at Barrow and a 3-0 reverse at Blackpool.
League Two trio Oldham Athletic, Salford City and tonight's hosts Tranmere are providing this season's group stage opponents - and boss Jackson is determined for his side to progress to the next stage, for which the top two go through.
Tonight's hosts Tranmere were beaten by current League One table toppers Sunderland in last season's final under former boss Keith Hill.
Micky Mellon is now back in charge of Rovers for a second time having left Dundee United back in May.
"It's going to be another proper game of football," said Jackson.
"We'll be looking forward to it. The boys like playing. The games keep coming thick and fast now but it's football as you like to play and that's what they're here for. We've got to prepare the lads for that.
"It'll be a tough ask again. It's another challenge for the boys and like I always say, it's good to have different challenges.
"We'll be ready for it. We want to compete and we want to go one step further in the competition this year and try to qualify from the group stages.
"That's our aim as a group of players and as a club. That's what we want to do.
"We'll go give it a good go and hopefully we can give a good performance."
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Thank you Laura Collins